Car insurance groups explained

If you’re looking to save money on your car insurance, it can be useful to know what car insurance group your vehicle is in.

But how are these groups decided, and what do they mean? Read on to find out how car insurance groups work and how they can affect the price of your policy.

If you’re looking to save money on your car insurance, it can be useful to know what car insurance group your vehicle is in.

But how are these groups decided, and what do they mean? Read on to find out how car insurance groups work and how they can affect the price of your policy.

Daniel Hutson
From the Motor team
6
minute read
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Posted 1 JUNE 2021

What are car insurance groups?

When calculating the cost of premiums, car insurance providers use a Group Rating system to determine the safety and security risks of all makes and models of cars, as well as repair costs and times. In other words, the likelihood of the car owner having to make a claim.  
 
Every private registered car in the UK is put into a car insurance group ranging from 1-50. Cars in the same group will typically have similar characteristics. The higher the group, the more expensive your premium is likely to be.  
 
The Group Rating system is administered by industry advisors Thatcham Research on behalf of the Association of British Insurers (ABI). Thatcham provides ABI with information that is used by a Group Rating panel to decide which group a vehicle will be put into. 
 
Group ratings are intended to be used as recommendations. While most insurance providers use this system, some also use their own rating systems to calculate the cost of their premiums. 

How are car insurance groups decided?

The Group Rating panel, made up of members of ABI and Lloyds Market Association (LMA), decide which insurance group new cars fall into based on the following information provided by Thatcham Research:

  • Damage and parts costs – likely extent of damage to each model and the cost of parts to repair it. The lower these costs, the more likely the car will be put into a lower group.
  • Repair times – the longer a car takes to repair, the higher the repair costs will be. For example, a car with parts that are widely available and easy to source should be quicker to repair than a rare model with parts that may take longer to find. So, a common model is more likely to be put into a lower insurance group, and the rarer model a higher group.
  • New car values – the more expensive the car, the higher the group is likely to be. A new car’s value is a good indication of the potential cost of repairs and replacement cost if the vehicle is written off.
  • Parts prices – a standard list of 23 common parts is used to compare the costs of the same parts between different manufacturers. The lower the costs, the lower the group is likely to be.
  • Performance – acceleration and top speed are also used to determine a car’s insurance group. Statistically, high-performance cars mean more frequent insurance claims, so they tend to be put in higher groups.
  • Safety – cars fitted with Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) systems are less likely to be involved in low speed front-to-rear accidents, like ‘shunting’, so might end up in a lower group.
  • Bumper compatibility – the alignment and structure of the bumpers can also affect the severity of a shunting accident (driving into the back of another car), so, if your car’s bumpers meet the insurance provider’s criteria, it might be placed in a lower group.
  • Security features – standard security features fitted by the manufacturer will be assessed. Features like alarms and immobilisers, glass etching, coded entertainment systems, wheel locks and visible VIN numbers could help to lower your insurance group and premium cost.

    Use our car insurance group checker to find out what group your car is in.

What are the car insurance groups?

In 2009, the car insurance groups were increased from 1-20 to 1-50. This wider range is more accurate and factors in the increased ranges and features of new cars available on the market today. For this reason, different versions of the same model can be found in different groups. For example, different versions of the MINI Clubman can range from Group 12 right up to Group 40.

You can get an idea of the types of cars in each Group below:

Group 1
Cars in Group 1 are usually the cheapest to insure. This is because they are among the cheapest to repair and parts are widely available. They also tend to have less powerful engines and many of the new models have safety and security features as standard.

Cars in Group 1 include:

  • Citroen C1
  • Fiat Panda
  • SEAT Mii
  • Skoda Citigo
  • Volkswagen Up

Group 2
A good group for young drivers who tend to pay much more for car insurance because of their age and inexperience. Choosing a car in a lower insurance group might help bring down the cost of your premium.

Cars in Group 2 include:

  • Dacia Sandero
  • Ford Ka
  • Hyundai i10
  • Nissan Pixo
  • Vauxhall Corsa

Group 3
Cars in this group are a good choice if you’re looking to pay less than your average car insurance premium.

Cars in Group 3 include:

  • Citroen C3
  • Ford Fiesta
  • Nissan Micra
  • Renault Twingo
  • Volkswagen Polo

Group 4
Cars in Group 4 include:

  • Fiat Panda
  • Ford Fiesta
  • Peugeot 1007
  • Smart Fortwo
  • Toyota Aygo

Group 5
Cars in Group 5 include:

  • Chrysler Ypsilon
  • Chevrolet Spark
  • Dacia Sandero
  • Honda Civic
  • Hyundai i20

Group 6
Cars in Group 6 include:

  • Ford Focus
  • Kia Rio
  • Peugeot 207
  • Renault Clio
  • Toyota Yaris

Group 7
Cars in Group 7 include:

  • Fiat 500
  • Hyundai iX20
  • Mazda 2
  • Skoda Octavia
  • Renault Megane

Group 8
A good group if you’re looking for a spacious family car that’s cheap to insure.

Cars in Group 8 include:

  • Citroen Berlingo
  • Ford Focus Estate
  • Renault Scenic
  • Skoda Fabia Estate
  • Volkswagen T-Cross SUV

Group 9
Cars in Group 9 include:

  • Audi A1
  • Citroen Aircross SUV
  • Ford Focus
  • Honda Civic
  • Peugeot 307

Group 10
Cars in Group 10 include:

  • BMW 2-Series Gran Tourer
  • Fiat 500L Cross
  • Ford Kuga SUV
  • Ford EcoSport
  • Jeep Renegade

Group 11
Cars in Group 11 include:

  • Ford C-Max
  • MG ZS SUV
  • Nissan Juke
  • Peugeot 5008 SUV
  • Renault Captur

Group 12
Cars in Group 12 include:

  • BMW 1-Series
  • Ford Tourneo Connect
  • Hyundai Tucson
  • Mazda CX-30 SUV
  • Mini Clubman

Group 13
Cars in Group 13 include:

  • Audi Q2 SUV
  • Dacia Duster SUV
  • Nissa Qashqai
  • Renault Grand Scenic
  • Toyota Prius

Group 14

Cars in Group 14 include:

  • Audi A3 Sportback
  • Mazda CX-5 SUV
  • Renault Kadjar
  • SEAT Ateca SUV
  • Volkswagen Tiguan

Group 15
Cars in Group 15 include:

  • Alfa Romeo Giulietta
  • Citroen SpaceTourer MPV
  • DS 3 Crossback SUV
  • Ford Mondeo
  • Mercedes-Benz B-Class MPV

Group 16
Cars in Group 16 include:

  • Ford S-MAX
  • Jeep Compass SUV
  • Mazda 6
  • MINI Countryman SUV
  • Subaru XV SUV

Group 17
Cars in Group 17 include:

  • Audi A3 Sportback
  • Citroen Grand C4 SpaceTourer MPV
  • Lexus CT
  • Subaru Outback
  • Suzuki Ignis SUV

Group 18
Cars in Group 18 include:

  • Jeep Wrangler
  • Renault Kadjar
  • SsangYong Tivoli
  • Subaru Impreza
  • Volvo XC40

Group 19
Cars in Group 19 include:

  • Audi A4
  • DS 7 Crossback SUV
  • Land Rover Freelander
  • Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class
  • Volkswagen Golf Estate

Group 20
From group 20 onwards, the cost of car insurance can be more expensive.

Cars in Group 20 include:

  • Audi A4 Avant
  • BMW 2-Series Gran Coupe
  • Ford Galaxy
  • Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class
  • Subaru Levorg Sport Tourer

Groups 20-50
The high-end groups typically include high-performance vehicles and prestigious brands like Range Rover, Lexus, Porsche and Jaguar.

For example, Ford’s Mustang Mactyh-E SUV and the Range Rover Evoque can be found in Group 40. And not surprisingly, Group 50 cars include the likes of Bentley, Ferrari, Lamborghini and Maserati – out of reach for most of us to buy, never mind insure.

Did you know?

There are more cars in Group 50 than in Group 1. So, if you’ve just won the lottery and have spare cash to splash, there’s plenty more choice!

How can I find out what insurance group my car is in?

Finding out which insurance group your car is in couldn’t be easier. Simply fill in our car insurance group checker and you’ll get an instant result. We just need to know the make, model, year, fuel type, number of doors and transmission.

Our car insurance group checker is also handy if you want to check the insurance group for a car you want to buy – or if you’re simply curious.

Check car insurance groups

What insurance group are electric cars in?

While electric cars offer low running costs, no tax and a cleaner environment, insurance costs may be higher than you’d like. This is because currently, parts and repairs can be more expensive to source and fit. As a result, electric cars are often put into higher insurance groups than petrol or diesel cars of a similar class and size.

For example, the Nissan Leaf Hatchback can be found in Group 21, while the Peugeot e-2008 SUV is in Group 25.

How is car insurance calculated?

The car insurance group isn’t the only thing that insurance providers will use to calculate your premium. As well as the car you drive, they’ll also want information about you.

The price of your premium can be affected by:

  • Your age – the younger and less experienced you are, the more expensive your premium is likely to be. But if you drive safely without any claims, you should see the price begin to drop once you turn 25. Older drivers over the age of 70 may also find they pay more for their car insurance.
  • Your postcode – if you live in an area with a higher crime rate, your premium might be more expensive as there’s more risk of your car being stolen or vandalised.
  • Your driving history – if you’ve made a number of claims or you’ve been convicted of a driving offence expect to pay a lot more for your car insurance.
  • Your job title – if you do a lot of driving for work or carry expensive equipment or goods in your car, it could have an impact on the price of your premium. Some types of employment are also considered more risky for insurance purposes.

Use our handy car insurance calculator to find out how much you could save on your next premium.

How can I get cheaper car insurance?

First off, choose a car in a lower car insurance group. Cars in groups 1-10 are generally the cheapest to insure.

The following might also help you cut the cost of your car insurance:

  • Drive safely – safe driving is the best way to avoid accidents and build up your no claims discount.
  • Use a black box – young drivers can often get a discount on their premium by taking out a telematics policy and demonstrating safe driving habits.
  • Park your car off the street – parking on a private driveway overnight means there’s less risk of your car being damaged or stolen, so your premium might cost less.
  • Increase your excess – agreeing to a higher voluntary excess could mean a cheaper premium. Just make sure you can afford to pay the excess if you have to claim.
  • Pay annually – some insurance providers offer a discount if you pay up front in one go. Paying annually also means you’ll avoid interest on monthly payments.
  • Shop around – shopping around and comparing quotes from a range of providers could help you find a cheaper deal. Find out how much you could save by comparing car insurance though us.

Read more tips on how to get cheaper car insurance.

Frequently asked questions

Are Group 1 cars always the cheapest to insure?

Group 1 cars are generally cheaper to insure, but the final cost of your premium also depends on your own circumstances and driving history. Based on our own data taken from a number of people with different ages, driving histories and postcodes, one of the cheapest cars to insure is the Dacia Sandero, which falls into Group 7.

Why are the same cars in different Groups?

The Group rating system takes into account the different versions of the same model of car. It also factors in the different age ranges for the same model. For example, there are loads of versions of the VW Golf. So, a 2013 1.6 TDI S Golf hatch might be in Group 10, while a 2020 TDI GTD Golf hatch might be in Group 27.

Do the car insurance groups include vans?

No. Light vehicles up to 3500kg have their own insurance group rating system which is also administered by Thatcham Research on behalf of ABI. Van insurance groups range from 1-30. Deciding factors are pretty much the same as for cars, but also include the weight of the van – the heavier the vehicle, the higher the group will be.

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